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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Lee Dalgetty

Where are the cast of The High Life now?

The cabin crew of the fictional airline Air Scotia haven’t graced our screens since 1995 - and some have since become Hollywood icons, stars of the West End, or even featured on The Crown.

With a musical opening scene that was the campest thing since Rocky Horror, The High Life followed two stewards alongside a stern chief stewardess, and their clueless pilot. With a fabulous supporting cast, it’s a wonder we only got six episodes.

While it only ran for one season, the phrase ‘Oh dearie me!’ is burned into the minds of anyone who had a TV in the 90s. We’ve had a look to see what the cast have been doing since they left Prestwick Airport.

Let’s catch up with Air Scotia.

Alan Cumming

It almost feels unnecessary to say, but Alan Cumming has had an extensive career both before and after The High Life. In fact, the BBC show came to an end because of Cumming’s increasing commitments in Hollywood.

His credits include the James Bond film GoldenEye, Burlesque, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, and many more. In recent years, he was cast as the lead in the American CBS drama Instinct and featured in the Apple TV series Schmigadoon.

Cumming was appointed an OBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for contributions to film, theatre, and arts, and activism for LGBT+ rights. As well as promoting LGBT+ rights with GLAAD and the Equality Network, the actor was a strong voice on the Yes vote of Scottish Independence.

Featuring on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in March, he said his father's bullying in his youth helped him become an actor. Cumming said: “My dad didn’t break my spirit.

“I feel the qualities you need to deal with an adult who is abusing you, and you are powerless, and good qualities for being an actor. Listening, pretending you’re not feeling what you are feeling, not showing fear.”

Forbes Masson

Since his last Air Scotia flight landed, Masson has had a celebrated career in writing and theatre productions - as well as featuring in TV series such as Catastrophe and EastEnders.

The actor is associated with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is best known for his roles in classical theatre on London’s West End. His wife, Melanie Masson, was a finalist on the X Factor in 2012.

Prior to this, Masson featured in several roles in Is It Bill Bailey? As well as starring in Channel 4’s cult comedy The Young Person’s Guide To Becoming a Rock Star. More recently, he filled the role of the flower shop owner, Mr Mushnik, in Little Shop of Horrors at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

In April, he starred as alcoholic taxidermist in The Taxidermist’s Daughter which debuted at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

Siobhan Redmond

Another member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Redmond has featured in endless TV productions as well as starring as a stage actress for many years.

After hanging up her stewardess uniform, she featured in Holby City, EastEnders, and Midsomer Murders. In 2013, she was appointed an MBE in the New Year Honours for services to drama.

In April, she returned to the BBC Two comedy series Inside No.9. She also debuted her role as Rachel Chiesley in The Straw Chair, at the Finborough Theatre in London.

Speaking to the Sunday Post last year, she said there’s never been a better time to be a woman and 61. The star said: “Even if we weren’t in a pandemic, it would be quite remarkable for a woman of my age to be so busy, but so much of my profession is just luck about being in the right place at the right time.”

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Patrick Ryecart

Filling the role of Captain Hilary Duff (not to be confused with actress behind Lizzie McGuire), Ryecart also went on to star in several BBC series and theatre productions.

He is best known for his role as Lord Wigram in the 2010 film, the King's Speech.

From 2017-2019, he starred as the Duke of Norfolk in the Netflix series The Crown. On stage, he debuted in many productions including A Christmas Carol.

Hilary Lyon

Previously married to Alan Cumming, the two divorced in 1993 - the year before The High Life was released. In the show, she played Jackie.

Since the show, of which Lyon featured in two of the six episodes, she’s gone on to star in Chef, Trust Me, and Outlander. On the small screen, she’s also featured in the British institutions; Taggart and Casualty.

Speaking to InStyle magazine in 2021, Cumming said of his marriage to Lyon: “I don’t think of my divorce or other ended relationships as failures.

“I tried hard to make each one work and thought ‘this is it’. Wisdom, really, is just living long enough to see yourself repeating behaviours and deciding to make different decisions next time.”

Geoffrey Toone

Filling the role of Earl, Toone was 84 when The High Life was on our screens.

The show was his last time featuring on a series, though he featured in one last movie in 1997 titled The Apocalypse Watch. After retiring, he moved to Denville Hall in London - a retirement home for professional actors.

He died of natural causes at the age of 94, in 2005. At the time, he was one of the last survivors of the Old Vic theatre company having appeared alongside the likes of Laurence Olivier.

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